Mega funds to invest in emerging technology in Asia are clearly in. Consider Tiger Global’s $3.75 billion for a new venture fund for tech investments in China, India and the U.S.
Tiger Global is fishing where it always has caught some of the best fare: e-commerce, logistics, software and digital media. And it’s fishing in India, the source of many of its best deals.
When few other firms were actively sourcing deals in India, Tiger Global became one of the earliest, big backers of the Indian online ecosystem. It invested in India’s online retail plays such as Flipkart, an Amazon equivalent in India. That bet on the Indian upstart paid off handsomely when Walmart bought Flipkart for $16 billion this year.
That didn’t come easy. Tiger Global brought in a former eBay executive to turn Flipkart around to challenge Amazon in India. The Flipkart goods went to Walmart instead of Amazon.
Little surprise then that Tiger Global exceeded its own expectation of raising $3 billion.
Southeast Asia is the next China opportunity.
Softbank, Tencent and Alibaba are pouring millions into look-alike startup models of businesses created in China. And they are acquiring complementary businesses as well regionally. Alibaba has major stakes in both regional e-commerce powerhouse Lazada Group and Indian online payment service Paytm while Softbank-led investor groups are in a hurry in Southeast Asia too. Softbank backs Singapore-based ride-sharing service Grab, the startup that just took over Uber’s business in Southeast Asia.
Five of the 12 largest Internet financings of 2017 were in the region: Flipkart, Ola, Grab and Tokopedia. See Forbes column: Asia Tech Bypasses In IPOs and Deals.